The ocean is often deemed as being one of the scariest places on Earth.

This is mainly due to the fact that the majority of the ocean is still a mystery, it’s said that we still have no idea what lies underneath a large portion of our oceans, which means we cannot rule out the possibility of a giant kraken or a swarm of megalodons deep down, lurking at the bottom of the sea.

However, most people don’t know how scary rivers can be until they’ve witnessed for themselves a few of the terrifying creatures located in river waters.

Rivers are notorious for being one of the most terrifying places for creatures and apex predators to live freely do whatever they please. Crocodiles, giant snakes and rare species of fish can be found in rivers.

In addition to that, river creatures are far more terrifying than those in the ocean, since we more frequently have the possibility of running into them.

These creatures live on both land and water, which means they have the ability to prey on your belongings and can even harm you. They’re by no means cute or adorable and you shouldn’t ever be taking selfies with them.

It’s also in rivers where you will find some of the most horrific creature combinations, where fish and other freshwater creatures grow their colonies and develop according to their circumstances. This development usually means sharper, longer teeth, larger sizes, longer lifespans, and more agility

This list contains river creatures that aren’t only predatory in their environment, but they can also attack humans and some of them are large enough to swallow a grown man whole.

1 Goonch Catfish

Catfish are a classic fisherman hunt due to their variety, tenaciousness, and mystery. However, this particular species is known to be more of a danger than any other creature labeled under catfish. This specie that can be located between India and Nepal was found to be a gigantic abnormality.

An incident where a young boy was dragged down the river has led many biologists and local survey teams to search down the river where they came to the horrifying conclusion that the catfish started preying on human beings.

Attacks on humans from catfish are quite rare, but this particular species has been found on numerous occasions to be the cause of death for those swimming in rivers where they can be found.

Many believe that this catfish is still underwater lurking for prey, rather it’s small fish, mammals, or even humans in the Kali river. Some locals claim that this is the largest catfish to have ever been seen. Locals also want the mystery of the human eating catfish to be resolved before they go about their business.



2 Goliath Tigerfish

This fish was caught in the Congo river, shocking people all around the world. This particular catch by Jeremy Wade was over 5 feet in length and weighed in at more than 100 pounds.

However, this wasn’t the biggest goliath tigerfish ever caught. The most striking thing about this tigerfish is not the jagged long razor-sharp teeth, but its massive size advantage and the extreme bite force it holds.

Another element to their fame is the long sharp teeth that have the ability to penetrate through the tough skin of crocodiles. The goliath tigerfish is also known to be a larger breed of tigerfish that can easily be referred to as the apex predator in the area just because of the massive size.

It can attack big predators in the water where it hunts with the same strategy crocodiles showcase. It digs the long sharp teeth into the skin, allowing it to have a good grip and yank away with its powerful jaw muscles.

3 Nile Crocodile

This crocodile is notorious for causing the death of multiple humans living around the African river. Although Florida takes the lead when it comes to popularity in crocodiles, the Nile crocodile is the deadliest crocodile there is. It is known for being the main predator in both shallow and deep water, as well as on the surface. Scary!

This 20-feet in length and 500kg in weight crocodile is known to drag people to the water where it eats them alive across the Nile river that stretches from Egypt to as far as the middle of Africa.

They can also grow up to 30 feet in length and reach up to 700kg. The Nile crocodile is easily at the top of the food chain pretty much wherever you put it.

This crocodile also has massive advantages, such as its super thick armor skin, its powerful 60 razor-sharp teeth, and its extreme bite force. Crocodiles can also regrow their teeth and can possess extreme speeds in short distances.

4 Anaconda

The anaconda is the largest snake species and they’re one of the most terrifying creatures you can find in rivers. Unlike the cobra or other venomous snakes, the anaconda’s dark horse is not its venom. The anaconda makes up for that by using its sheer size and power to overcome any prey.

They have been caught feeding on deer, jaguars, pigs, and even large cattle. They wrap their bodies around their prey, eventually strangling them to death or even breaking their bones.

The size of anacondas is easily one of the most astonishing of all snake species. Their average size is around 28 feet long, 40 inches in circumference, and weigh up to 250 kg in weight. There have also been rumors around anacondas that have reached up to 50 feet in length, even devouring crocodiles alive.

The green anaconda is the biggest species of snake and it lives in both underwater and on the surface, preying on anything that looks like a nice-sized meal. The size difference depends on many factors, such as population, temperature, and geography.

5 Candiru

Although this creature might seem little and adorable, there is nothing cute about this tenacious parasitic catfish. This tiny relative of the catfish would’ve been a monster if it were the size of a crocodile.

They are only 3 inches long and an inch wide at the largest. Before you think they are harmless little animals, you should know that there are legends of them propelling themselves into the urethra of natives and visitors to the waters they live in.

This little creature with small jagged fins and rough skin will eat away once they are inside of a urethra. There have also been incidents where they have pushed themselves into a person’s anus. Many incidents of the candiru end up with genital mutilation and permanent damage, not to mention the excruciating pain that’s felt.

Another reason why the candiru is terrifying is because of its surprising bite force. While you can barely see anything inside their mouthes regarding teeth, they can rip the skin off your hand if you touch them. In fact, the local people who know candiru live in the water wear thick fabrics and layers to avoid any attacks.

6 Snakehead

This snake fish is one of the few fully grown fish that can rise up to the surface without any issues. It’s both a snake and a fish at the same time and it’s viewed as one of the most destructive fish throughout the ecosystem of rivers. It eats away anything and everything it finds and lays up to 70,000 eggs per year. It can survive on dry land for up to 4 days, eating small mammals such as rats.

This species is very predatory in nature and this is especially true if they are in non-native waters. They prey upon mostly fish and are known for growing very fast. Their weight is around 7kg and can measure up to 3 feet in length.

One of the reasons why they’re terrifying is that the snakehead fish competes with native species for food and habitat, which eventually displaces native species. Add this to the fact that they’re laying up to 150,000 eggs over the course of two years per snakehead and you will have one terrifying fish.

7 Giant Stingray

The stingray has to be one of the most terrifying creatures that can be found in rivers. Their sheer size and poisonous barbs allow them to prey on small fish and dominate their area. The giant stingray is a different story, some fishermen have been said to have caught stingray specimens that weigh over 800 pounds and can stretch as wide as a truck or car.

There have even been cases in Asian rivers finding giant stingrays that weigh a whopping 1,000 pounds. When it comes to sheer size, these creatures take the number one spot for largest freshwater creature.

They hide under the sand, usually camouflaging their body like squid, wait for their prey, and attack with their whip, while enfolding them with the size. They’re also quite deadly with many cases of a fatalities on humans, although they’re not usually aggressive towards humans unless they’re provoked.

8 Bull Shark

No list that involves scary creatures is ever complete without the bull shark because of its predatory nature and killer instincts. While they’ve gained their terrifying reputation for being one the big bad creatures in the sea, they’re also very deadly in rivers.

The bull shark can both live in warm and cold waters, being found in both rivers and the oceans. They’ve been found over 1000km away from the sea in Illinois.

They usually stay together as packs in the river and can easily be considered the apex predator because of their strength and powerfully sharp bite force. The name bull shark is fitting since they can be both stocky and big, as well as tenacious and aggressive.

They attack both humans and any sea creature, dominating any water they found in. The bull shark is responsible for having the most shore accidents, since it can easily thrive in warmer water, unlike the great white shark. They’ve been spotted numerous times near both rivers and near beaches.

9 Piranhas

An infamous river monster you don’t ever want to cross paths with is the piranha. They are carnivorous fish that eat everything in their sight. It has a distinct plump body with super sharp-angled teeth.

This isn’t the only remarkable thing about them, since they have many other powerful abilities, such as attacking in groups and dominating bodies of water. They are famous for living in almost any water as long as they have the resources they need.

The other thing that is very remarkable about them is their extremely powerful bite force. Despite their size, piranhas can gnaw at any fish, taking out chunks of their prey’s body with just one chomp. They lay tons of eggs and can sometimes destroy native fish species that are sharing the body of water.

Piranhas can grow bigger and become extremely intimidating (as if they already weren’t). When it comes to attacks on humans, some incidents have led to gruesome injuries and even death.

10 Giant Salamander

Salamanders are usually depicted as cute and small, they have an exceptionally rare ability which allows them to regenerate body parts, such as limbs. The giant salamander, however, is far from cute and adorable. It grows mainly in the waters of China and Japan but it can live in other Eastern Asian countries as well.

The giant salamander is usually around 6 feet long, things become a bit blurry when it comes to both their weight and size, but generally speaking, scientists label them as neotenic animals. This means that the salamander doesn’t have a limit to its growth.

It can essentially keep growing until it dies, but that does not mean there have been cases of a 2,000 pound salamander being found.

Many issues come with growing without limits, such as food shortage, predators, moving slower, and other issues such as disease. The giant salamander can also have very lengthy lifespans, with one known case of a salamander living up to 100 years in China.

Rivers and seas are known for being the home to some of the most terrifying creatures you wouldn’t ever want to cross paths with, such as sharks, piranhas, whales, and crocodiles.

The river monsters on this list are very terrifying and can even be deadly to humans. What is even more frightening is that more than 80% of the ocean remains unmapped. This means that there is still much we can discover about deep oceans, lakes, and rivers and the possibilities are nearly endless for what we may find.

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